Comics, Graphic Novels, and Anime

Horror, Thriller, Suspense, and Mystery Movies

Literature and Writers



Write Us:

Feo Amante
Be sure to write:
Feo Reader
in the subject line else you may be bounced like JunkeMail


Review by
Garrett Peck
By Barry Hoffman
Edge Books (Gauntlet Press)
HC (Trade, numbered or lettered editions available)
412 pp.
ISBN: 1-887368-45-0

Cover Art: Harry O. Morris


Barry Hoffman unleashed Shara Farris, a vigilante serial killer of sexually abusive men, in the novel HUNGRY EYES. She returned in a supporting role in the sequel, EYES OF PREY, hunting Lysette Ormandy, a female Bernard Goetz. Now Shara is back on center stage with the third thriller in the series, JUDAS EYES.

Shara, her need to kill assuaged by having taken the life of her original abuser, still finds the thrill of the hunt irresistible. Now she’s a legitimate, licensed bounty hunter. When Detective Lamar Briggs leaves the police force, she hires him to join her. Briggs had unsuccessfully hunted Shara when she was on her killing rampage in HUNGRY EYES. He, of course, doesn’t know this. He was also the man after Lysette in EYES OF PREY and had greater success there, even though Lysette was eventually acquitted. Shara has become the lone confidant to his daughter Alexis, traumatized into near catatonia by her own rape.

Now a new avenging angel has come to Philadelphia. She is Mica Swann, and she’s not putting up with abusive men anymore. Shara accepts a private bounty from the mother of one of Mica’s victims. A psychic connection between the two women forms. Shara gains insight into her own personality from her glimpses into Mica’s mind. After all, she was once as Mica has become. The question of what Shara will do when she catches up to Mica is something even she doesn’t know.

As were the previous books in this series, as well as Hoffman’s stand-alone novel BORN BAD, JUDAS EYES is a character driven story predominantly from a female point of view. Indeed, female characters out number males two-to-one. Hoffman presents a dazzling array of fully developed women of various ages, races and backgrounds. Most have experienced some kind of abuse, either physical, emotional, sexual or a combination thereof. Hoffman paints them all sympathetically, but doesn’t insult us by making them mere victims without their own flaws. I find it amazing a male author can write so authoritatively about women’s feelings. He creates more believable female characters than many women writers do.

Hoffman uses a two-pronged approach in his narrative. His examines the effects of violence from the prospective of both the individual and society. He makes important and thoughtful observations on his subject, but does so in the context of a suspenseful story as concerned with entertaining its readers as enlightening them. There’s plenty for both the mind and the gut.

He also employs a moral stance not usually seen in this type of fiction. He doesn’t cut a break for those who violate others out of their own selfish desires, but presents both sides of the issue for those who combat the violent using their own methods. He doesn’t glorify vigilantes, but stops short of condemning them. He provides the situations and allows readers to make their own moral judgements.

The depth of characterization and attention to detail make it possible to accept the somewhat incredible notion that so many female serial killer/vigilantes would stalk the same city. Female serial killers are a very rare phenomenon, after all - even when they only stalk bad guys. You won’t find yourself thinking about that too much, though. Even with supernatural element introduced in this installment, Hoffman’s JUDAS EYES is too well told not be utterly convincing.

Three BookWyrms for this effort.

This review copyright 2001 E.C.McMullen Jr.

Return to Story Time



Feo Amante's Horror Home Page and are owned and copyright 1997 - 2002 by E.C.McMullen Jr.
All images and text belong to E.C.McMullen Jr. unless otherwise noted.
All fiction stories belong to their individual authors.